All over the world, biodiversity is under threat. Fundamental research on evolution and speciation is necessary to understand patterns of distribution. While it is best to conserve species in their natural habitat, sometimes there is no alternative to keeping them in zoos and other collections, for eventual reintroduction to the wild. New research is required on their behaviour in captivity. Agricultural genetic resources are also threatened, notably traditional livestock breeds, and if these are lost the farming of the future will lack the ability to respond to changing conditions.
Main research areas are:
* Understanding the evolutionary process in relation to conservation
* Maintaining the full behavioural repertoire of captive animals in anticipation of reintroduction to the wild
* Assessing livestock biodiversity and developing mechanisms its sustainable utilisation
Current research projects include:
* Development of scientifically informed conservation policies. The MSc by Learning Contract is a supervised research master’s degree carried out as a full-time or part-time activity; it is especially suitable for distance learning.
* Conservation of British rare breeds, specifically Light Sussex poultry, Cleveland Bay horses and traditional Lincoln Red cattle Development of techniques in captive breeding of birds
* Development of techniques in captive breeding of birds
* Postcopulatory sexual selection/conflict in bruchid beetles as a model system to study reproductive isolation